“I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.” -Mother Teresa
Our focus this month is animals and care of the environment must be part of that discussion. Everything we do as humans has an impact on the other lives sharing this planet with us.
However, the environment is a big topic and we certainly can’t cover it all in a short blog post. So, if we can agree that there’s an issue here, then what can we do individually and as small business owners to help?
An unexpected benefit of COVID has been the acceptance of working from home. Even if you can’t do it every day, even one or two days a week helps cut down on air pollution.
Here are some more ideas that may be new to you:
- Make it a twofer.
When you run your weekly errands, ask yourself. “What else can I do?” “Batching” errands reduces the number of times you have to run the car. You may even find you have more free time using this strategy.
Buy in larger quantities if you have the room to store items. “Club” sizes also reduce the amount of packaging.
2. Shorten your shower time.
Cut down the amount of time you spend in the shower by two minutes or take a navy shower. This can save more than ten gallons of water plus the energy to heat that water. If everyone in North America saved just one gallon, that would be two times more water saved than we currently draw from the Great Lakes. (Think about that one!)
3. Shop Smarter
Buy second hand when you can. Vintage is cool these days. And we’ve all heard of “Buy local”. Both strategies reduce or eliminate the energy costs of transporting goods long distances.
4. Recycle your cell phone.
The average user replaces their phone every 18 months. That’s a lot of waste going into landfills complete with the toxins in the batteries. Find a recycling program that passes your old phone along to a worthy charity and do everyone a bit of good.
5. Choose matches over a lighter.
1.5 billion lighters end up in landfills every year! Neither the plastic they’re made from or the butane inside are environmentally friendly. Choose matches, ideally paper ones which are usually made from recycled material.
6. Use a professional car wash.
Car wash services do their best to reduce costs and maximize profits. They have a financial incentive to use the optimal amount of water for cleaning. If everyone in the U.S. who washes their car in the driveway would switch, that country alone would save 8.7 billion gallons of water. Every year!
7. Go virtual.
Wherever it’s offered, take advantage of e-bills and payments, including your bank statements. You save not on paper but also the fuel it takes to deliver your bills and payments. Plus it’s quick and convenient.